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Tirnipgreen

Are Braided Hoses Necessary...?

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Posted (edited)

My 1973 240z restoration is at a standstill. I am having a hard time dropping the big bucks on the braided hoses for the heater, radiator, power brake booster, etc. Are they really necessary for a car to be respected...? I can't seem to find the power brake booster hoses in smooth rubber like the heater and radiator ones. I found a smooth rubber reducer for left side of the engine so at least everything on that side would be smooth including the radiator hoses, if I went "cheap". I love the braided look, just amazed at the pricing...! Any comments or suggestions...?

Edited by Tirnipgreen
Had something else to add

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Depends

If you want to show it, then it matters. It also depends on how knowledgeable the judges are...

If you want to drive it, then it doesn't.

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I have a mix of braided and smooth hoses in my engine bay. As to respect, there were no negative comments when my car was judged at ZCON 2015 in Memphis. My car was awarded Best Engine at that event. Its not always WHAT you do but rather HOW WELL you do it. If you elect to enter the ZCCA Stock Class, you will be expected to have every hose correct as OE.

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I thought that keeping the smooth on left side and braided on the right might be an acceptable compromise....

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18 minutes ago, jfa.series1 said:

I have a mix of braided and smooth hoses in my engine bay. As to respect, there were no negative comments when my car was judged at ZCON 2015 in Memphis. My car was awarded Best Engine at that event. Its not always WHAT you do but rather HOW WELL you do it. If you elect to enter the ZCCA Stock Class, you will be expected to have every hose correct as OE.

Jim,

My only thoughts on this are were all of the those hoses available in a braided finish at the time? We have been fortunate that many of these NLA's parts are becoming available again.

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Functionally, the hose braiding was supposed to provide extra 'burst' resistance.  I have no idea the extent to which this is true.  My best guess would be an extra 20% to 40%.  Without that, the hose manufacturers wouldn't have been able to justify the extra cost to their clients, the vehicle manufacturers (notorious penny-pinchers).  By the mid-1970's, however, it appears that improvements in hose materials rendered the braiding superfluous in both cost and performance.  Restorers are now left with an expensive decision to make -- one that comes down to appearance and originality (it certainly has nothing to do with performance).  Personally, I like the braided look -- but it's expen$ive and fragile (the OE braiding seems to have been good for about 3 or 4 years, after which it started to disintegrate).

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I think I have made my decision. Even though I bought smooth rubber heater hoses, I will buy the braided set (3 pieces) and the short reducer. I will use smooth rubber on the radiator hoses as they are much easier to replace than the heater hoses. Now another quandary...I have a new aluminum radiator ready to install and I don't mind the look. My issue is, again...originality. I have yet to find a new radiator with the little fan guard. Pulling my hair out in north Georgia...!

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BTW...Motorsports sells the braided heater hoses, but lists them for 70 - 72 only. I am switching to the 70-72 style wrap-around-the-back coolant pipe as I have gone with roundtops and the earlier crossover and intake. I assume the heater hoses will work...what say any of you...?

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Try Z Cars of Arizona for the radiator.  It won't be cheap, I suspect. 

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None of the parts houses have a radiator with the fan guard. I really don't want to solder the flap onto a new $350.00 radiator and ruin the  factory finish. The radiator shop I deal with says "they paint radiators all the time". There is nothing like a factory finish.

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Posted (edited)

Consider locating a OE radiator and having it recored with a copper 3-row core. Most radiator shops throw on a coat of cheap black paint to cover the bare metal after the vatting. I've always requested no paint so I can strip the radiator and do my own paint.

Edited by jfa.series1
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